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A Preliminary Study of Information Technologies Usage in Non

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Karthikeyan Umapathy

on 20 March 2017

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Transcript of A Preliminary Study of Information Technologies Usage in Non

NONPROFITS
A Preliminary Study of Information Technologies Usage
in Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofit Organizations (NPOs)
NPOs are key public service providers and an important constituent of the economic, social, and political entity in the society.
Leveraging IT
NPOs can benefit from IT usage with internal and external operations
NPOs IT Usage Survey
The survey instrument was developed based on a series of surveys conducted by Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) on IT staffing and spending.
Survey Results Summary
Karthikeyan Umapathy
Haiyan Huang
University of North Florida
Jacksonville , FL

Flagler College
St. Augustine, FL

St. Augustine is the oldest city in the U.S. founded by the Spanish in 1565.
NPOs are a critical resource as they provide services to important areas such as healthcare, shelter, education, and environments.
NPOs align their activities with a mission to create social values.
Businesses focus on maximizing profits and increasing personal and stakeholder wealth.
NPOs are also different from the public sector and governmental agencies in that those organizations are funded and controlled by local, state, or federal governments.
NPOs primarily rely on external funding sources (i.e., donations, grants, and government aids) and voluntary workforce.
Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery
Providing access to information to their staff
Gather data for program performance evaluation (often mandated by funding agencies)
Sharing best practices with other organizations
Creating awareness of issues in the community
Sharing information about their operations to establish legitimacy
Fundraising through Web and social networking technologies
Building and sustaining volunteer and donor base
Concluding Remarks
Why Study NPOs?
Most of the IS research works focus on for-profit organizations.
A better understanding of the unique contexts of NPOs is necessary to gain knowledge on IT needs, technology tasks performed, and technology related decision making process followed by nonprofits.
Theoretical and empirical information systems (IS) research on nonprofit sectors will be very important to advance our knowledge of IT strategies and usages in NPOs.
Deeper knowledge of NPOs context can lead to development of effective approaches and design of applicable information systems to address challenges faced by NPOs.
Subsequently, such contributions can have positive impacts on social conditions and improve the quality of life for a great many people.
Research Focus
Information systems research that specifically focuses on NPOs is very limited.
Review of literature indicates theoretical and empirical gaps in regards to IT adoption and usage in NPOs.
From the theoretical perspective -
There is lack of systematic and cumulative effort towards building theories applicable to study IT strategy, adoption, and usage in NPOs.
From the empirical perspective -
Majority of empirical research examined the relationships between the influential factors (such as environment factors and organizational characteristics) and the perceived utilities of a technology (such as website).
Our review of literature did not provide any concrete information on how IT strategies are formed and how IT are used and managed in the NPO contexts.
The objective of our research is to survey the landscape and current status of IT usage in nonprofit organizations.
We focus on studying NPOs in the Northeast Florida region.
Trivia Facts
Jacksonville is the largest city in the mainland U.S with over 840 square miles.
U.S. Census Bureau indicates there are over 7.5 M business organizations
Why Study NPOs?
Most of the IS research works are about for-profit organizations context.
NPOs context are quite different from for-profit businesses
NPOs often operate on outdated infrastructures and information technologies
IT adoption and usage are usually constrained by resource shortages, a lack of IT expertise, and decision makers’ IT knowledge
Very high turnover
Lack of employee training and established processes to accomplishing objectives
A better understanding of the unique contexts of NPOs is necessary to gain knowledge on IT needs, technology tasks performed, and technology related decision making process followed by nonprofits.
Theoretical and empirical information systems (IS) research on nonprofit sectors will be very important to advance our knowledge of IT strategies and usages in NPOs.
Deeper knowledge of NPOs context can lead to development of effective approaches and design of applicable information systems to address challenges faced by NPOs.
Subsequently, such contributions can have positive impacts on social conditions and improve the quality of life for a great many people.
Research Focus
Information systems research that specifically focuses on NPOs is very limited.
Review of literature indicates theoretical and empirical gaps in regards to IT adoption and usage in NPOs.
From the theoretical perspective -
There is lack of systematic and cumulative effort towards building theories applicable to study IT strategy, adoption, and usage in NPOs.
From the empirical perspective -
Majority of empirical research examined the relationships between the influential factors (such as environment factors and organizational characteristics) and the perceived utilities of a technology (such as website).
Our review of literature did not provide any concrete information about how IT strategies are formed and how IT are used and managed in the NPO contexts.
The objective of our current research is to survey the landscape and current status of IT usage in nonprofit organizations.
We focus on studying NPOs in the Northeast Florida region.
NPOs' contexts are quite different from those of for-profit businesses.
NTEN conducts IT staffing and spending survey on an annual basis to help NPOs in the U.S. to benchmark their efforts with other NPOs at the national level.
> Our focus is only on Northeast Florida region.
Drawing on our experience of working with several NPOs in the region, we modified the survey instrument used by NTEN to reflect the local NPO contexts.
Survey Instrument Validation Using Delphi Method
The survey instrument went through multiple rounds of critical review by three experts in the nonprofit sector.
University community coordinator
Nonprofit consortium membership coordinator
Survey design expert and former chapter leader of a nonprofit organization
After each round of review, the survey instrument was modified to reflect those suggestions provided by the experts. The review process was continued until none of the experts had any further suggestions.
Three rounds of review and feedback cycle was performed
Survey Administration
Survey instrument was implemented using Qualtrics.
Survey was open for responses for a period of three months.
Survey participation invitation was sent to members of Northeast Florida Nonprofit Consortium members.
Consortium has 240 members
Participation was voluntary and no incentives was offered
We received 74 responses, but only 53 responses were valid.
Response rate is around 22%.
Respondents were required to enter the name of their organization, based on which redundant responses were eliminated.
In case of redundant responses, the most recent and completed response was used for data analysis.
Survey Instrument
Survey had 25 questions divided into 7 sections.
1 question on responder knowledge level on technology usages, planning, and infrastructure within the organization
Organization Information (3 questions)
Budget (2 questions)
Staffing (2 questions)
Technology Adoption, Decisions, Planning, and Usage (6 questions)
Technology Tasks (1 matrix question)
Professional development (2 questions)
General IT (3 questions)
Data Management (3 questions)
Website (3 questions)
Communications and Social Media (3 questions)
Other Tasks (3 questions)
Technology Access (8 questions)
Challenges and opportunities (2 open-ended questions)
Rate your level of knowledge on technology usages, planning, and infrastructure within your organization
Year organization first started its operations
(User entered response)
Category best describes your organization
Organizational Info
Budget
Overall annual operating budget
Percentage of annual budget allocated for technology expenses
(like computer purchases, software purchases, consulting, networking, training, staffing, and online/cloud services)
Small
less than 1M
22
Medium
1 to 5M
16
Large
5 to 10M
4
Very Large
greater than 10M
7
Staffing
Data values in graphs represents number of NPOs,
unless otherwise stated.
Enter no. of Employees in your organization
Number of staffs for technology related tasks
Approach for technology adoption
We are innovators –
We tend to take risks, experiment with, and adopt new technology
We are early adopters –
We are technologically sophisticated and seek to adopt new technologies that have higher chances of supporting organizational strategies and/or solving organizational problems
We are pragmatic –
We have stable technology infrastructure, policies and practices that support our mission. We adopt technologies that are matured and proven within our industry/sector
We are conservative –
We are falling behind –
We have basic technology infrastructure that meets our immediate needs. We continue to use our existing technologies as long as they work, and replace them only when broken
We only have limited budget for technology. Our technology infrastructure cannot meet our needs
Approach for making decisions on technology
Critical for achieving our mission –
We recognize that investment in technology is critical for achieving our mission. We consider technology decisions as an integral part of organizational strategies.
Aides our mission –
We recognize that technology investments aides our mission.
Pragmatic and thoughtful approach –
Conservative approach –
External consultants –
We take a pragmatic and thoughtful approach in making decisions on technology.
We take a conservative approach in investing and using technologies. We consider technology as an added operational cost rather than strategic advantage.
Technology decisions and planning are made by external consultants hired by our organization.
Primary responsiblity for making technology-related decisions
Does your organization have a technology plan?
Website Features
Data Management Software
Specialized Database would be DBMS developed specifically for non profits like Raiser’s Edge, Donor Perfect, Constant Contact, etc.
Technology Tasks
Thank You!
Anticipate purchasing any new computing devices
(like PCs or Macs)
Anticipate purchasing any new handheld devices
(like smartphones, tablets, or other specialized devices)
Anticipate purchasing any new software programs
(like MS Office, Adobe, Quicken, Volunteer Management System, Donor DB system)
77% of responders have sufficient knowledge to answer questions
53 valid responses with 22% response rate
Majority of participating NPOs were either small (41.5%) or medium (30.2%) sized organizations
Large portion (62%) of respondents allocated between 1% and 5% of their operating budget for technology related expenses, which indicates that most NPOs view expenditure on IT as taking resource away from the services that are core to their mission.
Most NPOs do not have staffs, consultants, or volunteers to do technology tasks, which indicates that NPOs do not have sufficient resources and funding to hire staff members dedicated for technology related tasks.
Considerable number (45%) of NPOs indicated that they viewed technology as an integral part of their mission and involved technology staff members as part of their organizational planning process but only 40% of NPOs indicated they either had a technology plan separately or as a part of the strategic plan.
Communication and social media tasks are performed in-house and website development and content management are outsourced.
Large portion of NPOs (64.2%) use specialized DBMS
Most NPOs anticipate buying desktop computers as opposed to handheld devices or softwares.
Study limitations
Future work
Provide understanding on NPOs context (environment and constraints)
Provide awareness on how technologies can help acheive NPO's mission
Study findings cannot be generalized as responders are from one region of U.S.

Reports only descriptive statistics, not sufficient sample size for other analysis.
Conduct qualitative study to gain better understanding on contextual differences between for-profit and nonprofit organizations
Our objective
There are 1.5 M nonprofit organizations (i.e., 501(c) tax exempt )
National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), http://nccs.urban.org/statistics/
http://www.census.gov/econ/susb/
A better understanding of the unique contexts of NPOs is necessary to gain knowledge on IT needs, technology tasks performed, and technology related decision making process followed by nonprofits.
Theoretical and empirical IS research on nonprofit sectors will be very important to advance our knowledge of IT strategies and usages in NPOs.
Deeper knowledge of NPOs context can lead to development of effective approaches and design of applicable information systems to address challenges faced by NPOs.
Subsequently, our contributions can have positive impacts on social conditions and improve the quality of life for a great many people.
More research focusing on NPOs is necessary
Backup slides
On September 8th, St. Augustine will celebrate its 450th year. https://staugustine-450.com/
In order to advance our knowledge on IT strategies and usages in NPOs context, we need to conduct theoretical and empirical research.
Internal Operations
External Operations
(User entered response)
NPOs often operate on outdated infrastructures and information technologies.
IT adoption and usage are usually constrained by resource shortages, a lack of IT expertise, and decision makers’ IT knowledge.
Very high turnover
Lack of employee training and established processes to accomplishing objectives
Most importantly, our contributions can potentially improve social conditions and the quality of life.
Full transcript